Steinmetz: Best guesses for return dates


Steinmetz: Best guesses for return dates


When you've had as many injuries as the Warriors have had the past couple of years, you get used the to question: "When's So-and-So coming back?"That's one I've heard a lot frequently because David Lee had been out, and there are three other Warriors not playing.
STEINMETZ: Lee rejoins W's at ideal time
So, here's a quick update on the three injured players.Lou Amundson: He had the splint removed from his right hand a couple of weeks ago, and continues to do light shooting and conditioning work. He told the Contra Costa Times a week or so back that he was targeting Dec. 7 - his birthday - as his hopeful return.Ekpe Udoh: He has increased his activity in recent days to include playing one-one-one with contact, competitive drills and some live action. He originally tore ligaments in his left wrist in early July.Udoh's conditioning is pretty good and you figure the wrist injury itself must be fully healed if he's being allowed to bang. That would lead you to believe Udoh will shatter (in a good way) one of the original timetables for his return - which was six months and into January.
RELATED: Udoh Eyes Return
But several things will factor into Udoh's return. For example, he has never even participated in an NBA practice and the last time he played competitively in practice or a game was last Spring.Udoh also has to learn the plays and better familiarize himself with the offense and defense. Sure, he can look at film and try to learn the X's and O's and even listen into practice, but until he gets out there and goes where he's supposed to go, there's going to be some lag time.Point is, only answer I can come up with regarding Udoh's return would be - almost certainly after Amundson but almost as certainly before the New Year.Brandan Wright: He's been diagnosed with a low back strain with an MRI indicating he's got disc inflammation and been out for almost two weeks now. Wright was at practice on Tuesday, but just watching.No timetable has been given for his return. A couple of days ago, Wright politely declined an interview request. I don't really know what to tell you about Wright - you know backs. RELATED: Reinforcements on their way
What'syour take? EmailMattand let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead


LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Hayward returned after missing most of Utah's win in Game 4 because of food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.

Chris Paul's 3-pointer drew the Clippers within two with 5 seconds left. After George Hill hit two free throws, Paul struggled getting the ball under control near the sideline and couldn't do anything as time expired.

The Jazz made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three by Rodney Hood, who finished with 16 points.

Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 with injured star Blake Griffin watching from the bench, his right foot encased in a black walking boot.

The Jazz can clinch the series with a victory in Game 6 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth to tie the game. They made 12 of 15 free throws in the final period, but never managed to take the lead.

Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah's bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.

Joe Johnson's step back jumper extended Utah's lead to 92-87.

Neither team shot well, but the Jazz were better at most everything else. They owned a 34-28 edge in the paint, and the team that has done so has won each of the first five games in the best-of-7 series.

Utah outscored the Clippers on second-chance and fast-break baskets.

Utah took the game's first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.

The Clippers clawed back with an 11-0 run featuring five straight free throws by Redick and two consecutive 3-pointers from Paul that tied the game at 69-all.

Suddenly, the quiet crowd was on its feet cheering and Utah called time out.

The Jazz regrouped to take a 77-69 lead. They ran off eight straight, capped by Haywood's 3-pointer after the Clippers' defense shut down Hill inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter with the shot clock winding down.

Jazz: Neither team has won by more than eight points so far in the series.

Clippers: Griffin's injured big right toe needs further evaluation before it's decided whether he'll require surgery. ... G Austin Rivers played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was 0 of 4 and had two points. ... They fell to 1-11 all-time in Game 5 of a playoff series that was tied 2-2.


Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Festus Ezeli will not be back with the Blazers next season, Portland GM Neil Olshey said on Tuesday.

Last summer -- after the Warriors let Ezeli walk in free agency following the addition of Kevin Durant -- he signed a 2-year contract worth just over $15 million.

But Year 2 was essentially a club option with a $1 million buyout.

A knee injury prevented Ezeli from ever suiting up for the Blazers this season.

He underwent cadaver ligament replacement surgery in early March.

The Warriors drafted Ezeli 30th overall in 2012.

Over 46 games (13 starts) with Golden State in 2015-16, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over 16.7 minutes per contest.